Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

2016 Election: Belinda Weaver

I co-organise, run and teach at Software Carpentry workshops in Queensland, Australia, and frequently tweet about them and other Software Carpentry activities as @cloudaus

I first heard of Software Carpentry on Twitter in 2013 and thought it was a great initiative. Through the A/NZ mailing list, I made contact with Australian Software Carpentry trainers, and was able to organise the inaugural Brisbane bootcamp in July 2014, flying in instructors from Melbourne and Auckland.

This was a big success - we trained 40 people - but it was hard to replicate this with no local instructors.

Then Greg Wilson persuaded me to train as an instructor myself – the start of what proved to be a very steep learning curve. I did the online training in 2015. Five other Brisbane people trained as instructors at the Mebourne ResBaz conference in January 2015, so we suddenly had a viable local group.

I have since co-organised and taught at two bootcamps at The University of Queensland (July and September, 2015), and one at the Brisbane Translational Research Institute (December 2015). I helped organise the inaugural Townsville bootcamp (October 2015). Several attendees at my bootcamps have signed up for the instructor training I organised and which Aleksandra Pawlik will run in Brisbane in January 2016.

I gave a successful presentation on The Software Carpentry Model for Researcher Training at the eResearch Australasia conference in October 2015. I recently joined the Software Carpentry mentorship committee and have led one post-workshop debriefing session.

I am now helping to organise the Brisbane Research Bazaar (ResBaz) event in February 2016. This three-day upskilling event will include R and Python Software Carpentry workshops. I am about to train as a Data Carpentry instructor, and have led the development of ‘Library Carpentry’ training in Australia (based on James Baker's work in the UK). I am teaching Library Carpentry at ResBaz, and I have already been asked to run at least three more sessions in 2016.

I work for QCIF, a non-profit, university-owned, state-based eResearch agency providing cloud infrastructure to researchers. In 2016, I will co-ordinate researcher training, and hope to make Software, Data and ‘Library’ Carpentry a large part of that.

I have recently begun a Master of Philosophy degree at The University of Queensland on 'The Efficacy and Usefulness of Software Carpentry Training: a follow up cohort study'. I hope this will provide solid evidence of Software Carpentry’s worth.

As a member of the Steering Committee, I would continue to build Software Carpentry in Australia, run local workshops, recruit instructors and mentor attendees, and also spread the word via my tweeting, blogging and speaking. I would also hope to contribute to Software Carpentry's future direction, particularly around affiliations and partnerships, and to help build it into a bigger, more successful, more sustainable movement, both in Australia and internationally. I bring a lot of organisational skills, ideas and energy to my Software Carpentry volunteering, so I think I have a useful contribution to make.

SOFTWARE CARPENTRY FOUNDATION · ELECTION 2016 · STEERING COMMITTEE

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